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Local Business Feature: Saint 1881


During the development of the village of Rochester in the 19th century, several churches were erected on Walnut Boulevard, at one time reaching a total of seven within a two-block stretch. Today, only four church buildings remain, and the one established in 1881 at 226 Walnut Blvd is home to Saint 1881, a unique coffee and cocktail bar full of historic charm and chic vibes.


Founded by husband-and-wife Armend and Liz Alemi in April 2023, Saint 1881 is a cozy 2,000-square-foot, stylishly renovated gathering spot boasting the original exposed brick walls, high ceiling arches, charming chandeliers, and a dimly lit 23-foot marble bar. Two amazing olive trees complement the marble countertops and floor. A large, custom marble wall imported from Italy proudly displays Saint 1881’s name and logo. The long windows provide an enormous amount of natural light. Its 550-square-foot open outdoor patio is made with brick pavers and stretches the length of the establishment.


“Our main goal is for customers to feel that they have been transported to somewhere else – Miami, Chicago, or New York. We have created a cool environment and a high-quality experience.” - Liz Alemi

The premium coffee menu features caffeinated and decaffeinated cappuccinos, lattes, cold brews, hot chocolate, and rishi tea. Along with top-notch coffee and tea, guests can also enjoy a variety of delectable treats, including a 13-layer creamy strawberry crepe cake, tiramisu, baklava, chocolate or lemon crepe cakes, and Nutella walnut cake.


Beyond desserts, Saint 1881 also serves up a plethora of innovative small plates, all of which Liz Alemi says, “are freshly made, developed in-house, and rotated frequently.”


Customers are encouraged to sample — and savor — a myriad of shareable dishes such as a charcuterie board filled with meats, cheeses, and accouterments; burrata tartine with caponata, honey, and grilled bread; market pasta with Parmigiano Reggiano; potato pave with parmesan-truffle mousse; shishito peppers with whipped feta and spicy sausage; and crispy Brussel sprouts.


The luxurious drink list includes classic and contemporary high-end cocktails that touch all the senses. Appealing to a wide range of palates and showcasing a variety of flavors, Saint 1881's cocktails feature complex syrups and dried fruit garnishes, both of which are made in-house. Customers can also enjoy wines by the glass or bottle as well as artisan beers and mocktails.


Liz Alemi says their unmatched staff takes pride in its friendly service and wants everyone to feel welcomed and comfortable.


Saint 1881 seats up to 70 guests on a first come, first served basis — visit saint1881.com for updates and hours.


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